By STACY MILLBERG
The Ashtabula County Veterans Service Commission is offering identification cards to area veterans at no cost.
Veterans Service Commission Director Anna Allshouse said the local office was getting such a large number of requests for ID cards so they began making them a few weeks ago.
Allshouse said veterans who were eligible for medical benefits received an ID card from the VA Medical Center, but not all veterans are eligible for medical benefits.
“We decided to do them here,” she said. “It’s also a way to get people in here to register with us and see if we can get them benefits.”
Allshouse said the ID cards are being done on Fridays by appointment only in the Ashtabula office. Walk-ins will not be accepted, they will be set up with an appointment to come back, she said.
The ID cards will display the veteran’s name, address, military branch and war-era of service. The ID cards are also being accepted as a form of identification with the Board of Elections, said Dan Whitmire, board president.
Allshouse said the ID card program is a form of outreach for the office.
“We want to make sure we contact our veterans,” she said.
The ID cards are a new concept and all the counties in the state are going to try to make them. Allshouse said there are a few counties in the state that administer veteran ID cards through the recorder’s office for a small fee.
The ID cards also will be valid at a number of places throughout the county that offer discounts to veterans.
“We want people to come in so we can get an actual count of the number of veterans in the county,” Whitmire said.
Allshouse said her office has a list of more than 200 veterans in the county it will be contacting to make them aware of the ID card program.
Veterans will need to fill out an application, that will be checked by a service officer, before an ID card is issued. Veterans will need to have their discharge papers at the appointment.
To schedule an appointment, call the Veterans Service Commission office on Lake Avenue at 440-964-8324 and ask for Carol.